Faculty Profile

Mara Donaldson

Professor of Religion (1990)

Contact Information


East College Room 207


Her teaching focuses on contemporary religious thought, especially feminist and liberation theologies, and religion and art, including contemporary fantasy literature, film, and popular culture.


  • B.A., Wilson College, 1971
  • M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1974
  • Ph.D., Emory University, 1984

2017-2018 Academic Year

Fall 2017

RELG 101 What is Religion?
The course introduces students to methods in the study of religion and to major world religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The approach in the course is comparative and interdisciplinary.

RELG 211 Religion and Fantasy
An exploration of the religious and mythological dimensions of traditional and modern fantasy literature. Our explorations will be guided by three interdependent themes: the nature of the divine, the nature of the human, and the nature of the moral life.

RELG 212 History of Christianity
The course traces the emergence of Christianity from its beginnings as a minority sect in the first century to the height of its influence in the 14th century. Special attention will be given to cultural and aesthetic influences on the emerging Church.

RELG 248 Religion and Non-Violence
Although religion in our world today is often associated with violence, this course examines the lives and work of important religious figures who advocated non-violence for social change. What are the ethical debates about non-violence as a response to injustice? We will read works by Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Bishop Tutu, Dorothy Day, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, and others. Offered every two years.

RELG 550 Independent Research